Expert in today

January 31, 2020 § Leave a comment

I think the trick is to be not an expert sometime in the future at some great world-beating thing, but to be an expert in today. I know, well-known cliché perhaps, but whoever I’ve come across who’s good at this, seems to really be able to live well. They enjoy the smallest or simplest of experiences — like looking forward to a biryani lunch — with gusto and with everything they’ve got. My wife and son are two such people.

This of course doesn’t mean one shouldn’t attempt learning a new language or to learn to play a beautiful piece of music on a classical guitar. The difference is that the people who are expert at living today to the fullest won’t waste time in anguish over how they didn’t get a certain pronunciation right or a pluck a particular note correctly. They’ll just enjoy the practice.

I’m only beginning to learn to be like that, for I was raised to do everything perfectly. For example, eating with your hands — as in the case of a lot of Indian food — always meant only the tips of the fingers could come in contact with the food, never the palm or even the parts of the undersides of the fingers closer to the palm.

Apart from looking a tad neat for others who are equally OCD about such things, it is a completely useless skill. Yet, I can never eat any other way. And it was quite a struggle, involving much admonition of me by my wife that I learnt to not get my son to eat the same way. In such, small, insidious ways do we leech the joy out of the life of our own children. Imagine then the effect of bigger expectations that we burden them with.

‘I didn’t dust it’

January 18, 2020 § Leave a comment

I didn’t dust the book shelf at the top, which she can’t reach. This other book shelf, she’d asked me to move it so could clean behind it, because it’s too heavy and she couldn’t move it, and yet I hadn’t moved it. When will I clean the shelf, and when will I move the other one?

Frustrations of someone with asthma, that breathing folks like me don’t really appreciate. But when she asks for help, it still feels like nagging to my lazy self-obsessed self and the mix of anger and guilt makes it worse.


January 4, 2020 § Leave a comment

Have you ever had one of those moments when you’re doing the most ordinary things with your family or loved ones. Like sitting together having a meal, maybe even watching TV at the same time, but you still get this overwhelming feeling of gratefulness for all that you’ve been given in life.

Just wanted to share that I had one of those moments today.

Not sure why we don’t have these moments more often, too caught up in what we feel are the sum of all the problems we must deal with every day. Perhaps even actively reminding ourselves of all that we should be grateful for isn’t a bad idea. I know that some folks start their day by listing out such things.

Listing out things to be thankful for seems even more relevant in these times when problems can range from simple work deadlines to massive climate change events that can leave one feeling helpless. The only way forward seems to be to count one’s blessings and get on with the day, each day.

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